Host: Craig Ferguson
- Craig Kilborn (1999-2004)
- Tom Snyder (1995-1999)
Theme Song: Theme Song to Late Late Show written by Craig Ferguson.
Announcer: Richard Malmos
Previous Announcer: Shadoe Stevens
Personalities: Philip McGrade, Dave Foley, Henry Winkler, James Adomian, Tim Meadows, Jamie Denbo, Daniel McVicar (all regular guests who take part in comedy sketches).
Format: Traditional one-hour late night talk show format.
Broadcast information: Weeknights at 12:30 a.m. on CBS.
Tapes: Weekdays from the studios of CBS Television City in Los Angeles, Calif.
Premiere Date: January 9, 1995 (original airdate with Tom Snyder). January 3, 2005 (with Craig Ferguson).
After David Letterman made his move from NBC to CBS, Letterman was given the opportunity to create a program that would follow his Late Show with David Letterman. Letterman and his production company, Worldwide Pants, created the Late Late Show and offered the talk show to host Tom Snyder. Snyder had been the host of Tomorrow, a late night talk show that followed The Tonight Show in the early 80s, prior to Letterman taking over the timeslot.
Snyder hosted the program for nearly six years, before retiring. The show’s second host, Craig Kilborn, was coming off a successful run on Comedy Central’s The Daily Show. Kilborn brought with him a number of Daily Show hold-overs and a smarmy California spirit. The show was doing well and Kilborn was renegotiating his contract when he suddenly decided to end negotiations.
The show almost immediately began searching for a replacement, serving up a laundry list of guests hosts until the field was narrowed down to four contenders: D.L. Hughley, Michael Ian Black, Damian Fahey and Craig Ferguson. Each was showcased over the course of a week and Letterman made the final call as to who would be the next Late Show host. Unexpectedly, Ferguson won.
Since taking over the program, Ferguson has built one of the most original versions of an age-old format. His monologues are conversational and welcoming, sprinkled with jokes, but delivered like an old pal was telling you a story. His comedy is decidedly European and completely wacky. And Ferguson has an innate ability to interview guests. The gift of gab, so to speak.
His style is gaining fans, as Ferguson has beat the more established Late Night with Conan O'Brien and now faces newcomer Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. Rumors have already started that Ferguson will be Letterman’s replacement when – and if – Letterman retires (he is contracted at least through 2010).
Ferguson’s monologue: Unlike any other monologue on television, Ferguson delivers a casual, conversational monologue that can stretch for 10 minutes. He has also used the time to take on more serious subjects, such as his father’s death and his opinion about making fun of celebrities in crisis.
Dear Aquaman: A comedy bit in which Ferguson dresses up like DC Comics’ superhero Aquaman and answers viewer mail.
What Did We Learn Today, Craig?: Ferguson ends the show by sharing with viewers the lessons they learned from the day’s program.
Bob Barker: Though skits and jokes about the former Price is Right host have been retired since Barker’s retirement, Barker’s surprise appearance, flanked by his co-stars and crew, during a 2006 show remains a favorite among fans. Ferguson had poked fun at the game show host, referring to him as a vampire, for some time. Barker sought retribution by destroying Ferguson’s set (a remodeled set was already about to debut). After his retirement, Barker presented Ferguson with a portrait of Barker as a vampire. The shows were filmed next door to one another (and still are, with Ferguson’s former sit-com co-star, Drew Carey, the new host of The Price is Right)/